Raiders

Raiders

Antonio Brown's future with the Raiders is completely up in the air. In fact, it might end before it even begins.

Following the dust-up between the star receiver and general manager Mike Mayock where Brown reportedly threatened to punch Mayock before punting a football and telling Mayock to "fine him" for that, the Raiders are planning to suspend the four-time All-Pro. Brown is not expected to play in the Raiders' Week 1 game, and should the Silver and Black suspend the receiver for conduct detrimental to the team -- of which there is evidence -- the Raiders could void the remaining $29 million in guaranteed money that Brown is owed over the next two seasons, giving them free reign to cut him without penalty. 

This comes on the heels of a preseason that saw Brown sit out with frostbitten feet and fight the NFL to try and wear an outdated helmet.

Now, with his Raiders tenure possibly hanging in the balance, Brown's agent Drew Rosenhaus has been tasked with mending the relationship and keeping Brown in Silver and Black. Rosenhaus went on ESPN's "Get Up!" on Friday, and said Brown just wants to play ball for the Raiders, the team he forced a trade to this offseason, and that his client is working to avoid a suspension.

 

"I can tell you that Antonio right now is working very hard to get everything resolved with the team, without a suspension, hopefully being able to come back practice and play as soon as possible. I've been working diligently with the team over the last 24 hours to get this situation resolved. Our hope is that we can get him back on the team, back on the field and back on track very soon ... As far as what happened, that's really internal and I'm going to let the Raiders and Antonio divulge that at the appropriate time. My job is to get things worked out, to get Antonio to play out the contract that we negotiated, and get him back at a good place with the team.

"Well, there isn't issue as far as I'm concerned outside of what happened a couple days ago in practice," Rosenhaus said. "Antonio is looking forward to putting all of this stuff behind him. He wants to play football. He wants to play football for the Raiders. He wants to have a good relationship with the team. That's why he signed with them. That's why he was traded there."

"Obviously, there's been a lot of speculation about the foot injury, the helmet. His feet are healthy, He's got a new helmet.  Right now we want him to have a good relationship with Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock, his teammates, play football, be the best football player he can be."

As for that relationship with Mayock and the altercation that appears to have landed Brown on the outs, Rosenhaus was not willing to get into specifics, but he noted Brown still is working his way into how the Raiders do things after years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Right now, his relationship with coach Gruden is good, very good," Rosenhaus said. "I'm not going to get into his relationship with Mike Mayock, but I will say that we're hopeful that that will be a good one as well. It has been in the past; it can be in the future." 

"Listen, the NFL is a workplace and in workplace environments, not everything is perfect. And Antonio is a new player on this football team and we're trying to make it a very good relationship across the board."

"But what is very common in a new relationship is you try to get things in a good place, and it takes time. Antonio has played his entire career with the Steelers. Everything with the Raiders is new: the coaches, the players, the environment. It's a big adjustment for him, and we're trying to get that to be in a very good place.

"Sometimes that's not easy, sometimes that's a process and we're in the process of making that hopefully a good one that lasts for a long time. Right now that's something that is still in the works." 

 

Brown's behavior has been so erratic that many have wondered if he is in a place mentally where he can or should be on the football field. Rosenhaus assured ESPN's Mike Greenberg that Brown is fine and just wants to win with the Raiders.

"Right now his state of mind is to get back to work," Rosenhaus said. "His state of mind is to get back to playing football with the team. His state of mind is to get on track. His state of mind is positive. His state of mind is to put all these off-the-field distractions behind him and focus on football. Have a great season. Do what the Raiders brought him in to do, which is be one of the best players in the National Football League, and help them win a lot of football games and I'm confident he can do this."

[RELATED: Raiders captains will support Gruden's decision regarding AB]

It's been a long road for Brown and the Raiders and the season hasn't even begun.

The seven-time Pro-Bowl selection unfollowed both the team and quarterback Derek Carr on Instagram on Thursday as the split between the two appears to be growing.

Gruden brought Brown in to be the missing piece that would take his offfense from ho-hum to electric, but now he has to try and mend the relationship before AB has even played a snap for the Silver and Black.